Published On : Mon, Jan 9th, 2017

SP warring factions knock on EC door, Mulayam says ‘one person’ responsible for rift

Uttar Pradesh:
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav downplayed differences with his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday, blaming “one person” for a crisis that has engulfed Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party ahead of state polls.

“My son and I will settle the issue,” media quoted him as saying in Delhi.

He was in the Capital to meet the election commission to stake claim to the party’s popular election symbol, the bicycle. Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls in seven phases beginning February 11.

“There is some problem in the party, one person is behind this feud; sure that issues will be resolved,” Yadav said.

“The election commission will decide on the symbol.”

The SP has been consumed by a factional fight between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is seen to have Mulayam’s backing. Several rounds of negotiations have proved inconclusive with both groups approaching the EC.

The Rajya Sabha chairman reported receiving letters from Mulayam informing Parliament of the expulsion of Ramgopal Yadav.

Ramgopal, a cousin of Mulayam, is a key Akhilesh aide and organised an “emergency national convention” earlier this month that replaced Mulayam with the CM as party chief.

Minutes after Mulayam left the EC, Ramgopal arrived at the poll panel’s office to submit signatures of party office bearers to bolster the faction’s claim of being the “original” SP.

“We had come to the election commission to urge them to expedite the decision (on party symbol) as nominations will start soon,” he told media, adding that he didn’t want to comment on Mulayam’s comments.

On Saturday, Ramgopal had furnished documents running into 150,000 pages to the EC to prove the legislative majority of the faction led by them. Ramgopal claims Akhilesh has the support of over 90% of the legislators.

The EC now has to decide who will get to use the name and the cycle during the polls. In case the poll panel is unable to verify the legislative majority of either group, it has the option of freezing the symbol and the name and asking both factions to pick a new name and symbol in the interim.